Shirocco maintained his unbeaten record this year with a neck victory over stablemate Hurricane Run in the Prix Foy Gray d'Albion Barriere (Fr-II) on Sunday.
The race was run at a leisurely pace for the first mile before jockey Christophe Soumillon took up the running on the winner of the 2005 John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. I). Hurricane Run and Kieren Fallon loomed up with a furlong left, but Soumillon let out a notch on Shirocco and the pair held on by a neck.
The classy Group 1-winning mare, Pride, was another neck back in third.
None of the principles were asked for too much during the race, since the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) is the main goal for all three.
If all goes well in the Arc, the German-bred son of Monsun will travel to America in search of a second Breeders' Cup title for trainer Andre Fabre. This time, however, Shirocco may try the Breeders' Cup Classic-Powered by Dodge (gr. I).
"There hasn't really been a change of plan, we are just keeping our options open, and we fancy a crack at the Classic", said Paul Harley, racing manager for owner Baron Georg von Ullmann. Rail Link Adds to Big Day for Fabre & Soumillon
Rail Link put in a gutsy performance to claim the Prix Niel Casino Barriere d'Enghien les Bains (Fr-II) by 1/2-length.
The son of Dansili held off Youmzain in a driving finish for the Fabre/Soumillon combination. Sudan held on for third, two lengths further back.